Friday, July 13, 2012

Loath to Desire: Wanters Just Don't Quit

I wrote an entire other post about someone I used to be friends with who was a chronic wanter.  She never felt the need to edit her wants, no matter how frivolous, expensive, or how much they would cost the rest of her family in resources/time/attention.  I ultimately decided not to publish it because I don't want to smack the hornets nest and end up having to hear from her or anyone close to her.  The bottom line is that I had many, many years to closely observe her pattern of dissatisfaction, always wanting more, getting more, being in debt, and sometimes even shortchanging her children in favor of something she wanted and got.  It was my only example of seeing someone want so much, and it was not admirable.  I never saw contentment.  I never saw that there was a point where she could just stop asking for more of everything.  It didn't do anything to make me think it would be better for me to start wanting.  It made me wonder if once you start asking for one thing after another, maybe it snowballs and you just don't know how to stop yourself.

Also, I guess I've just never believed that I needed something else to make life okay.  Even though I may have a dysfunctional way of avoiding wanting things, and not trusting that other people could -or would- even give me what I want, I do think that the lifetime cultivation of contentment, and knowing who I am despite what I'm wearing/how my hair looks/how much money I have/where I live/where I shop/what I do for a living/who I'm related to/or anything else.  Nothing on the outside gets a vote about who I am and what my potential is.  I am firmly in charge of myself, and can stand solo and be comfortable knowing that.

So maybe this little soul-searching series has only served to tell me that even though it may be good for me to be less afraid of wanting some things, that I still believe this is a pretty good way for me to be.  I don't spend my mental energy pining away for stuff I don't have.  I'm free to enjoy the blessings of my life and continue living without feeling disappointed by what isn't.

I found this chart on facebook this morning, and it said for me what I was already thinking about in relation to my former friend.  My cultivation of contentment has allowed me to be generally positive and happy and moving forward in my life.

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